University of New Hampshire (UNH) senior sociology and justice studies major Laura Clancy voted early in the day on Nov. 3. Her classmate, recreation management and policy and event management major Caroline Wilson voted absentee. But the students’ Election Day did not end once they cast their votes. In the morning, Wilson and Clancy took a picture in front of a minivan that they dubbed “The Vote Mobile” or “the Bald Eagle” on social media, offering free rides to the polls.
Clancy and Wilson drove both students and community members to the Durham polls located at Oyster River High School until 7 p.m. yesterday. “We know the University is providing transportation, but we thought it might be nice for first time voters to see a friendly and familiar face. We want to encourage our friends to vote and they might be more opt to go if we drive them rather than going by themselves,” said Wilson in an interview with The New Hampshire.
The two ensured they were taking proper precautions regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. “We asked people to wear masks, we brought hand sanitizer, we had extra masks, and we had wipes,” said Wilson.
“We felt like this was a pretty easy and fun way for us to spend the day together and still feel like we were contributing somehow,” said Clancy who was looking for ways to help with the election after she voted in the morning.
Clancy and Wilson both feel that this election is very important and wanted to ensure that young people were counted. “This election is so critical because the options are so stark from one another. There’s a big difference between the two ways this can turn out, and students and other people our age have such a stake in the future, so it is important that our voices are still heard,” said Clancy.
Both students have been encouraging students to vote long before the final election day. For example, Wilson and her mom sold “vote-totes” and donated all the proceeds to the non-profit Rock the Vote. Wilson said, “We have our vote totes, our vote masks, our vote shirts. We really think voting is an important thing and we wanted to make a way for people to have easy access to voting.”
Photo courtesy of Caroline Wilson